I dozed off on the couch in the middle of the day. I am quite capable of sleeping anytime, anywhere, really. But to do it in the middle of a work day before finishing up the tasks that have been neatly lined up is saying something. Did I drift off to slumber land because of the gloomy weather outside? Or because of previous night’s disturbed sleep? Or because of the sluggish feeling that I’ve been suffering from all day? Be what the reason behind it may, it only matters that I dozed off on the couch in the middle of the day.
I don’t know how much time had really passed (it sure didn’t feel like it was enough to label the episode a ‘nap’), but within what seemed to be the opposite of an eon, I was being woken up. I sensed a hand, a rough hand, stroking my cheek. My first instinct was to shoot a grim expression to air my annoyance and continue my affair with the afternoon siesta. Before I could act on that impulse, though, I took a step back. Figuratively, of course. Why? For that touch translated to stories. That hand held in it stories of our intertwined love. That palm clasped together with mine could easily speak the story of my life. And, just then, those fingers upon my cheek wrote a new chapter capturing that moment in time and space, adding to the story of both of our lives.
After successfully fighting that initial urge to react harshly, I slowly opened by eyes, careful not to blind myself temporarily because of the brightness of the surrounding. It was afternoon, after all. Yes, it was cloudy out when I had fallen asleep, but who knows what happened in those few minutes that I was oblivious to the ever changing climatic conditions. One has to be careful, right? So, yes, I opened my eyes slowly. The first thing I saw was that hand, the rough hand that had stroked my cheek.
‘Would you like some coffee?’ inquired a gentle voice. I nodded, with my half-open eyes still fixated on that hand, the rough hand that had stroked my cheek.
I observed for a while to find if I can read what made the hand’s touch so rough. And there, then, I saw it all flash in front of my eyes in a matter of seconds. That hand, the rough hand that had stroked my cheek, revealed to me a lifetime of experiences that were inscribed on it. Every line, every dry patch, every nail, every wrinkle had a story to share. Some stories happy. Some stories heartrending. Some stories bittersweet. There were stories of proud successes, and then there were stories of nasty failures. There were stories that echoed smiles and laughter, and then there were stories that ricocheted the sound of silent tears. Put together, though, all these stories equate to unending doses positivity and patience.
That hand, the rough hand that had stroked my cheek, is of a person who boldly faces all that life throws at her, even after a million setbacks. Now, there’s something I need to learn from my mother – perseverance and forbearance, no matter what life brings on, even if I end up with a rough hand. How does it matter if the hand is rough when it has the perpetual potential to hold in it brimming amounts of love?